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Former Obama Auto Adviser Seeks GM Board Seat, $8B Bankruptcy Payback

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Feb. 11, 2015—The man who helped guide GM through its bankruptcy as part of the Obama administration is now trying to get a seat on the automaker’s board of directors, according to a report from The Detroit News.

Harry Wilson was a senior member of the auto task force that forced GM into bankruptcy in 2009 as part of a $49.5 billion bailout. He plans to seek election by shareholders to the board at the company’s 2015 annual meeting, and then will try to get the automaker to repurchase $8 billion in stock by mid-2016.

According to the report, Wilson said he thinks GM is holding on to too much cash, and that an $8 billion buyback would be a drop in the bucket, as the auto manufacturer will still have over $20 billion on hand by next year. Wilson said he’s unsure on whether or not he will be elected to the board.

Wilson went on to say that his wanting to earn a seat on the board stems from shareholder frustration over the weak GM stock. After Wilson’s announcement, GM stock rose 4 percent, and closed at $37.52 per share on Tuesday—the highest close since July 2014.

Wilson is working with four investment firms that support his election and proposal: Taconic Parties, Appaloosa Parties, HG Vora Parties and the Hayman Capital hedge fund founded by J. Kyle Bass. Together, they own approximately 34.4 million shares, or 2.1 percent of GM.

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